Man, it’s been another long while since I posted here, but holy shit has time away been fruitful. Between various life happenings, I’ve been entering different pitch contests and such on Twitter. One such contest is #SonofaPitch, in which I have passed the second round as of today (September 23rd).
This is my revised entry for #SonofaPitch.
Category and Genre: Adult, Suspense/Thriller (Psych.)
Word Count: 75,000
Small town journalist Tom Coster is chasing a story 30 years in the making. The story: The untold events that went on behind the doors of now-shuttered Salvation Home for Wayward Children. Tom, however, has a hidden motive behind the article he wants to print. He hope the story draws out his cousin, Dianna Lane, who disappeared from the troubled teen home those 30 long years ago, or the man he suspects kidnapped her; The former owner of the compound, Marcus Taylor, who went off the grid around the same time.
The further Tom digs the more attention he gains, and from those who would rather Salvation Home’s past remain there. Whether it’s phoned threats, arson, or attempted murder, it becomes clear to Tom just how far these people will be willing to go to keep the public-at-large from finding out the horrific history of Salvation Home. He must decide if he is willing to sacrifice everything knowing this, even his life, in order to expose the past, bring justice to its survivors, and bring his cousin home.
First 250 Words:
At first, the icy steel floor was a welcome reprieve. Then her bleeding welts began to scream.
“Esther, get off th’ floor,” the man standing over her demanded. “Y’ain’t gon’ bleed t’ death. B’sides, y’got ten mo’ah swat comin’.”
She looked up at him, taking in the terrifying image of him. The man’s beige button-down and undershirt soaked was soaked in sweat, and dotted with small, but growing, flecks of her blood. As such, the room took on a scent of iron and salt, which mingled with something more foul. On his face was a look as unrepentant and cold as the floor, something that seemed impossible on his pale, plump countenance. “Esther” struggled to get to her feet, her legs shivering, the skirt of her unwashed dress like steel wool against her skin.
“Please,” she whispered, her voice trembling, almost a whine. “please…Brother M-Marcus…no more…”
“Shut it, girl.” Marcus growled, combing his fingers through his once-cropped hair. “Assume th’ position, an’ repeat Proverbs 23:13.” “Esther” did as told, taking her skirt up and over her buttocks while trying to keep her legs from collapsing beneath her as she bent over ever so slightly.
“W-withhold not c-cor–agh!” she screamed as the cane, a twisted and evil implement, came down on one of her already open wounds with marksmen’s accuracy. The wood, jagged and tattered from years use, cut into the back of her legs. One more swipe, and she doubled over, doing her best not to vomit from the pain.
“Don’ you get sick all ovah, child,” Marcus growled, his voice more fierce than before. “Eight mo’ah, then we git you all nice an’ cleaned up.” He chuckled, and in his attempt to make it sound light-hearted instead turned it into the most soul-crushing sound in the world. “Now, git up, and git back into position!”
But “Esther” couldn’t manage it. Her body wouldn’t obey. Once before she had been in a similar situation: Her back tensed, the old marks there beginning to hurt through sympathy.
Thanks to those in #SonofaPitch for their advice and suggestions over the course of the second round.